Sen. Fazio, Lawmakers and CT169Strong Share Concerns with “Work Live Ride” Legislation Ahead of Planning & Development Hearing

March 16, 2023


March 16, 2023

Link to video included

Sen. Fazio, Lawmakers and CT169Strong Share Concerns with “Work Live Ride” Legislation Ahead of Planning & Development Hearing

(Watch the press conference HERE.)

HARTFORD – Today, State Senator Ryan Fazio, ranking member of the legislature’s Planning and Development Committee (R-Greenwich) finished a committee public hearing a little after 1:00 AM where constituents came from all over the state to be heard by legislators and shared their opinions on proposed legislation. Yesterday, Senator Fazio stood with Senator Jeff Gordon (R-Woodstock) and Deputy House Republican Leader, Representative Tom O’Dea (R- New Canaan), as well as town & city officials and members of CT169Strong to discuss their concerns with legislation being proposed and publicly heard in front of the Planning and Development Committee. These concerns include the proposed “Work Live Ride” legislation (H.B.6890) and its negative impact on local planning and zoning decisions.

“I appreciate the good intentions of many people on different sides of this debate. We need to protect local control of our towns and cities and create economic opportunity in our state. Unfortunately, Work Live Ride as written will hurt our towns and cities. It compels them to adopt as-of-right zoning in large transit areas up to 30 units per acre or more in some communities. It threatens to take away access to hundreds of millions of critical infrastructure funding if towns and cities do not acquiesce. We can do better in advancing affordable housing goals with local input,” Senator Ryan Fazio began.

“There is strong bipartisan support among residents across our district and entire state to create affordable housing with local control. I introduced several bills with Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan this session to that end. There is a better way than the heavy-handed, ideological, and partisan proposals like Work Live Ride or the Fair Share Act. Let’s bring a wider variety of stakeholders and leaders from both parties to address this problem in a constructive way.”

Senator Gordon said, “I am in the middle of planning and zoning matters each day as Chair of Woodstock’s Planning & Zoning Commission. The people of Connecticut know best for what’s best for their towns, and that is why they elect local leaders to represent them.

The press conference’s organizers, the nonpartisan CT169Strong, also shared concerns on state-mandated development.

“Each town is unique. The state’s approach to affordable housing with 830-g is outdated, and reform is needed, but top-down is not the way. We must facilitate the good work that our towns are doing, like what we are doing in Woodstock, to address affordability. We should be looking at ‘attainable’ housing where we broaden the definition of what we consider affordable and working with towns to recognize what is in the best interest of their residents,” stated CT169Strong President Alexis Harrison.

Senator Fazio continued, “Infrastructure funding is not the only subsidy that would be curbed by failure to meet the requirements of Work Live Ride. Brownfield remediation funds could be at risk under this proposed legislation as well. In countless communities throughout this state, we see vacant factories, relics of the days when Connecticut relied on heavy industry that currently sit idle, which remain clear public hazards. As our economy transitions, we must help our communities and developers clean up these sites, turn them over, and put them back into good use, driving economic development and grand list growth. This bill puts that at risk.”

Representative Tom O’Dea said, “Everyone agrees that the current affordable housing laws do not work in creating affordable housing in small, highly developed towns, like many of those across Fairfield County. It has been decades since a private developer has built affordable housing in New Canaan. We must emphasize two main goals in any new legislation: 1) Protect critical infrastructure of small, highly developed municipalities with strong awareness of local guidelines; and 2) Increase affordable housing stock built by municipalities so that it is 100 percent affordable forever as opposed to a small percentage of affordable units that cease to be affordable after a few decades if built by private developers. Municipalities need financial incentives from the state not blanket mandates. What works in Stamford does not necessarily work in New Canaan or Darien. I am committed to working in a bipartisan manner to achieve these goals and make real improvements to affordable housing laws in Connecticut.”

Fazio concludes, “Unfortunately, H.B. 6890 would do more harm to our communities than good, and I urge my fellow Planning and Development Committee members to return to the drawing board. This is not the way to stimulate growth, economic development, or vibrant downtowns.”



Hannah Lemek